Restaurant.com Requires Diners to Actually Eat Before Reviewing

A recent study by Gartner concluded that by 2014, 10 to 15% of all online reviews would be fake. That’s a crime, because a large portion of consumers use online reviews to help them make decisions about where to shop, who to hire and where to eat.

Restaurant.com is taking care of that last part with their Verified Review program. Before anyone can leave a review on the site, they have to purchase and redeem a restaurant voucher. Once their redemption has been verified, they get a link inviting them to leave a review.

To assure the best possible quality, reviewers must also complete a short survey and assign star ratings. They’re also required to comment only on the restaurant experience; the food, the service, the ambiance. They may not use the review to talk abut a bad experience with the deal or their own personal disaster. (My boyfriend broke up with me at dinner! I hate this restaurant.)

Internet Heavy Hitters Band Together to Build an Authoritative Source for Web Developers

Imagine if Adobe, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nokia, and Opera, all got together and wrote a book about web development. That would be some massive tome. It would cover everything from HTML to Java, CSS to mobile, social, sharing and SVG.

Wait! You’d don’t have to imagine it — it’s real! All those companies are working together on a project called Web Platform Docs. It’s a community-driven wiki that aims to document everything designers and developers need to know about the Open Web Platform.

Without the geek speak, Web Platform Docs is an in-progress collection of instructions on how to build pages for the web and for mobile. Why it’s important, is because right now, every browser and major web entity has its own nuances. Meaning a page that looks gorgeous viewed with Internet Explorer, might look wonky on Firefox.

Would You Pay 50 Cents to Read This Post? Google Tests Micopayments for Content

People have always been happy to pay for newspaper and magazine subscriptions, as long as the words arrived printed on actual paper. Asking those same people to buy that same content in digital form is another story.

A few outlets have had success with paywalls on the majority of their content, but it’s hardly the norm. Now that tablet usage is increasing, digital magazine subscriptions are on the rise, but still, they usually come as a bonus when you get the printed matter in the mail.

Oddly, people are much more likely to purchase ebooks. In the UK, Amazon now sells more ebooks than print books, so why aren’t people buying short articles online?

New Tumblr Metrics Define the Power of the Reblog

The success of a blog is generally measured in terms of incoming traffic. Social media is all about outward traffic – how many people reTweeted your Twitter post or shared your post on Facebook. Tumblr is unique in that it combines these two elements – you want people to visit your Tumblr blog on a daily basis, but you also want them to share what they find there via a reblog button.

Reblogging is such an integral part of Tumblr, they’ve partnered with Union Metrics to provide custom analytics for blogs on their system.

Union Metrics for Tumblr reporting includes:

  • Post and note volume to show overall engagement levels and trends over time
  • Top contributors and curators to help identify key influencers

WOM Sells More Movie Tickets Than Social Media

Social media isn’t helping movie theater ticket sales all that much. That surprising nugget came from Vincent Bruzzese, present of  Ipsos MediaCT’s Motion Picture Group.

Data from a new Ipsos survey shows that the biggest influencer (69%), when it comes to buying a movie ticket, is a personal word-of-mouth recommendation.

39% of movie goers were motivated by the amount of posts they saw about a specific movie and 37% were swayed by a large number of positive comments online.

But according to Bruzzese, digital buzz isn’t helping the overall lifespan of a film.

“It’s not like the quality of movies has changed much. Bad movies drop on their second weekend, but good movies don’t stay around any longer than they did in ’80s. In fact they drop faster than when the way to spread mouth was the old fashioned face-to-face.”

The NFL Goes Pink and Xbox Gets a Make-up Makeover

This month, two brands you normally associate with men are getting a girly make-over, one for profit and one for a good cause.

The NFL is going pink in October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And not just any pink, take a look at this satiny, sparkly pink on gloves, shoes, hats, arm bands — everything except the football is pink, pink, pink.

It may sound like I’m making fun of these macho men in girly colors, but I think it’s wonderful. It’s great to see a huge brand do something completely out of character in order to support a great cause. And they’re not the only male dominated group donning pink this month. The police officers and firefighters of Maryland will be wearing pink, even tow trunks in Detroit are getting in on the action.

Q2 S.M.A.R.T. Report Shows Emphasis on Techies and Car Buyers

That day has arrived! It’s time to reveal the findings from Millennial Media’s October S.M.A.R.T. report. (With bonus points to anyone who knows what S.M.A.R.T. stands for.)

This edition, which looks at data from Q2 2012, is focused on the most frequently targeted audience types and here they are!

Millennial Media mobile advertisers spent a lot of the quarter chasing after IT Decision Makers, Gadget Geeks and In-Market Auto Intenders, which I take to mean people who have expressed an interest in possibly buying a new car.

Other top targets include business travelers, movie buffs, moms, spring Do-It-Yourselfers, small business decision makers, entertainment fans, and of course, the mobile switchers. Looking at that list, I have to wonder who is missing? I myself fall into five of those categories, even my husband, who is not a big mobile user falls into two.